20th January, 2007

Locking Your Screen

Filed under: General,ubuntu — admin @ 5:57 pm

I just got my Powerbook back from the repair shop, and after six weeks of Windows and Ubuntu use I noticed one missing feature – quick locking of the screen from a keyboard shortcut.

In Windows XP you can do this with Windows-L (if you have a Windows key on your keyboard – bad luck Thinkpad users), and in KDE you can use Ctrl-Alt-L (sorry, don’t know what the combination is in Gnome, but I’m sure there is one). But back in Mac OSX there isn’t an easy option that I could find.

Luckily, I have Quicksilver. Thanks to some hints in the unofficial users guide I now have a solution.

Oh, you want to know what it is? OK. Essentially we tie the Fast Logout script supplied with Quicksilver to a hot key trigger. Here’s how to do it;

  • First, enable the User Accounts Module and Extra Scripts plug-ins. You may also need to activate the HotKey Triggers plug-in, but it looks like its on by default in my version.
  • Then, in QS itself, type the letters FAST LOGOUT until the Fast Logout option appears. The action for this should be ‘Run’. Give it a try and see if it works. If it does you will need to log back in.
  • Bring up the Triggers preference pane in QS and press the plus sign at the bottom (and the HotKey option) to create a new one. If you done nothing with QS since the last item then it should automatically include Fast Logout in the Select an item dialogue box that appears. If it doesn’t select them the way you would normally.
  • Save your trigger and then assign a Trigger key combination to it. I’ve used Ctrl-Apple-L.

Bob will then be your Aunty’s live in lover.

9th January, 2007


Filed under: General — admin @ 2:01 pm

I like books. I especially like reading them and have, in my time, gone through a few. I’ve recently come across a couple of interesting web sites pertaining to the subject and thought I would share them with you.

First I came across Library Thing (courtesy of Neil Gaiman) and being a somewhat obsessive cataloguer I’ve started entering each book I read as I start (or finish it). If I tried to record all of the books I own or have read I could be at it for quite a while. What I’m appreciating are the wisdom of the crowds features where I can use the information that other people have entered to find books that I might like to read. Even better, as Mr Gaiman mentions in his post, is the unsuggester which gives you the exact inverse and highlights books that I wouldn’t look at in a million years. That feature is a stroke of genius and reason enough to use Library Thing. The spiffy interface and general usability of the site are just an added bonus.

The second book related site I’ve been spending some time at is Programming Books. Its more technical, and appropriate to this blog, than Library Thing and pretty much does what it says on the tin. So far, at least, the recommendations in the categories I have perused are pretty spot on. I’ve picked up a few more books to read and resolved to re-read a few that I have in my collection – which will then appear on Library Thing of course.

I suspect that I’m going to be spending a lot of 2007 with my nose in a book.

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